Philadelphia airport travelers respond to American Airlines canceling hundreds of flights

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- American Airlines is canceling hundreds of flights through at least the middle of July amid staffing shortages and a surge of travelers.

There was lots of hustle and bustle at the American Airlines counters at Philadelphia International Airport on Monday.

Summer travel season is here, and this year there's a backlog.

"Oh it's crazy, everyone wants to get out," said traveler Kevin Smiegocki.

"Now that they lifted a lot of the restrictions and whatnot, I think people are trying to take advantage now, trying to get to some sort of normalcy, that's what we're trying to do," said traveler Jennifer Reyes.

Which makes this news more anxiety-inducing for travelers: American Airlines is canceling hundreds of flights at least through mid-July.

American Airlines canceled 123 flights on Saturday and 178 on Sunday.

The airline's Dallas-Forth Worth hub is said to be most affected by the scheduling issues.

Some in Philly's airport expressed relief that so far their flights appear unaffected.

"It makes me nervous because it's my daughter's birthday trip so I don't want them to cancel," said traveler Yasmine.

Denise Coubarous-Payne, owner of Couba Travel in Willow Grove, advises passengers to check their airline ticket closely and said a travel advisor can save time.

"Sometimes what airlines do is they may or may not allow you to cancel," said Coubarous-Payne. "Sometimes they will rebook you and sometimes they will put you on a flight. It's just a matter of how you go about how you get that done."

American Airlines said unprecedented weather has had a big impact on operations, disrupting crew members' schedules and flights.

Labor shortages and a sharp increase in customer demand are adding to the problem.

"Get more staff," said traveler Gloria Kay.

American Airlines released the following statement:

"The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers' plans. That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July.

We made targeted changes with the goal of impacting the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re-accommodation.

Our focus this summer and always is on delivering for our customers no matter the circumstance. We never want to disappoint, and feel these schedule adjustments will help ensure we can take good care of our customers and team members and minimize surprises at the airport."
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